Lockdown in the UK is easing at last. We can meet up with friends, family and work colleagues who we have only seen virtually over the last few months. Perhaps go for a meal……but will our favourite restaurants be able to re-open?
The UK hospitality industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March 2020, these businesses have been forced to close during the various periods of lockdown, often leading them to letting staff go unless they could retain them under the furlough scheme. According to the Office for National Statistics, 335,000 jobs were lost in the catering industry in the year to March 2021 alone. A number of these positions had previously been filled by overseas nationals, many of whom have left the UK. It has now been reported that a number of restaurant owners are now having issues recruiting staff.
However, help is potentially at hand due to the changes made to the UK immigration system on 1 December 2020.